Author: Akis Chatzimeletiou
Date: 18/11/2020

Share this content :

SMS Basics: What Is an SMS Aggregator?

Over the last couple decades, SMS has emerged as one of the very best all-around communications tools on the market. Aside from offering consumers a convenient way to stay in touch with friends and family, it’s also established itself as a dynamic and versatile business tool, facilitating both internal communications and potent customer engagement. 

Consider the following: 

  • SMS can reach anybody, anywhere. 
  • SMS is easy to use, with a largely consistent user experience across operators, operating systems, and countries. 
  • It’s one of the most affordable ways to communicate, making it widely accessible worldwide. 

Of course, considering we’re in the SMS business, this is precisely what you’d expect us to say. But the stats back us up! 

Indeed, SMS boasts the highest open rates in the communications market — an incredible 98%, according to a Dynmark report. For perspective, email marketing typically gets somewhere in the ballpark of 15-25%. That’s not bad, but it obviously pales in comparison to SMS. 

The value of SMS for customer engagement is also abundantly clear. Simple Texting’s 2020 SMS Marketing Report found that a whopping 61% of businesses and marketers are increasing their text marketing budgets. Juniper Research, meanwhile, predicts that SMS usage for businesses will hit 7% growth in 2020, reaching 3.5 trillion messages in 2020, up from 3.2 trillion in 2019 — despite the economic impacts of COVID-19

What does this mean for the SMS landscape more broadly? Well, it means that as use cases expand in scope and scale, the demand for affordable, high-quality messaging capacity will grow with it, cheek by jowl. This is where SMS aggregators come into the picture. 

In this article, we’ll answer the following: 

  1. What is an SMS aggregator? 
  2. Why don’t brands work directly with wireless carriers? 
  3. How did aggregators become the engine of the SMS world? 
  4. So, without further ado, let’s dig in! 

What is an SMS Aggregator? 

SMS aggregators are the link between carrier networks and third-party businesses, service providers, and brands. By negotiating access agreements with big time carriers, SMS aggregators can leverage the best network infrastructure on the market to facilitate the delivery of text messages on behalf of their customers. Moreover, because they tend to be localized, they’re able to ensure carrier compliance for country-specific legal regulations.  

Why don’t businesses work directly with wireless carriers? 

The long and short of it is this. Brands rely on aggregators because working directly with carriers would mean buying huge, costly per-month volume commitments. This presents a daunting barrier to entry from an ROI perspective, and most businesses simply can’t afford to make that sort of investment. 

However, aggregators can make these commitments since their business is predicated on reselling SMS capacity. As such, they’re able to provide brands with better prices and less onerous per-month volume commitments.  

How did aggregators become the engine of the SMS world? 

First and foremost, early adoption was critical. Many SMS aggregators have been around for 20+ years, growing and adapting alongside the market over time. 

But that’s not all. Aggregators have also identified soft spots in the SMS landscape, areas that mobile network operators (MNOs) missed. As such, they’ve been able to parlay this knowledge into the development of low-cost SMS capacity offerings. 

Moreover, SMS aggregators have benefited from their understanding of local markets and the value of marketing. Indeed, their success stems fundamentally from their ability to engage with enterprises and power their particular engagement requirements directly.  

About Internet Mobile Communications (IMC) 

Trading under the Bank of Telecom brand, IMC provides a rich portfolio of voice, SMS, data, and international settlement services to the global carrier community. IMC developed, owns, and operates the Bank of Telecom, which carries billions of international minutes each year, across hundreds of routes from 1,600+ carrier interconnects in 130+ markets. 

To learn more about IMC, set up a meeting!